Lost in UX closed for good

This blog is not updated anymore. I didn’t find the time needed for this project.

I’ll continue blogging randomly about consumer experience, user experience and SW development at my original blog Web Wanderer (www.henrihamalainen.com):

I’ve also recently started a new blog Toisaalta (toisaalta.wordpress.com) to blog in Finnish about subjects that interests mainly Finnish people and matter only in Finland. If you are a Finn, please check it out:

Thanks you all who found yourself to my blog and enjoyed reading it. It’s a pity that I didn’t have the energy to concentrate on the subject I really like.

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IKEA just gets it

Yesterday I was at Ikea and noticed how cleverly they place their goods. They are really thinking the whole consumer experience and actual needs of the person. That of course helps on their sales, but it’s also really convenient for the customers.

So what they actually do, is when you are in section for frames and paintings, there’s small sets of tools to hang those in the wall, spread all around that section. So when you pick a frame, you actually realize I need to hang in on the wall and I need some tools for it. Ikea jumps in here and offers set of tools to be picked up also.

This same approach is taken all around. So where there are beds, there’s small amounts of pillows and blankets next to those. Still there’s their own sections for all of these separately. So if you are only there for pillows and blankets, you can go to that section directly.

That’s just clever.

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Explanations to eye movement patters

Excellent article in vanseodesign blog about Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern and F-Pattern. These are terms I’ve seen and heard so many times when people are explaining designs and talking about certain decisions in designs. I found this post really valuable information with many excellent points. Please read it fully.

3 Design Layouts: Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern

Here’s couple of my favorite points quoted from that post.

The f-pattern suggests that:

  • Important information should be placed across the top of the design where it will generally be read.
  • Lesser information should be placed along the left edge of the design often in bullet points where little horizontal eye movement is required to take everything in.
  • People don’t read online. They scan.”

“However keep in mind that if someone scanning your page finds it interesting, they will read so you can place information in places outside the F for those people who will read.”

“I’ve alluded to it a few times already, but it’s important to understand these patterns describe where the eye naturally goes when there’s a lack of hierarchy in the design. They describe natural patterns for evenly distributed and text-heavy content.”

..

“Instead of trying to force your design into one of the patterns described, decide instead what information you want the viewer to see and through a series of focal points and design flow lead their eyes through your hierarchy of information. That’s really the only pattern you need to use.”

How I read this is, that it’s not about how generally people see or read things, but it’s about how they behave in your design. You can use common patterns to define how people normally behave, but you need to adjust it to your website or service. Make sure there’s an easy way to get to the content you prefer your user to get to.

Once more thanks to Steven Bradley and vanseodesign for this lesson on my journey to learn more on customer experience.

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Vintage gone wrong?

It’s been a trend to make vintage versions of current products. You’ve seen it with all. Many brands have taken their old ad’s, logos, fonts or packaging and republished those. Most of those look cool and fine and are actually interesting and add some value.

Last week I was going in my airplane coming home from Oulu and noticed that my airplane looked strange. Finnish national airline Finnair had also made their plane look old, vintage. Plane was looking that it’s 40-50 years old. I was actually horrified. Is it really a good idea for your airplane to look damn old? Airplanes should be all about safety and trust. This wasn’t building any trust to me, and I ain’t scared of flying in no means.

Finnair airplane

What do you think? Is it just me?

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Building customer experience needs everybody

Excellent metaphor for building customer experience in the company. Blog post from Perfect Customer Experience blog:

Imagine a football team in which:

  • Only 4 in 11 players know what the objective of the game is
  • 7 in 11 players don’t know which goal is theirs
  • 9 in 11 players don’t care
  • 9 in 11 don’t know what position they play in the team
  • Only 1 player feels that the other players would be held accountable for the team’s performance

Here’s the whole post of Customer experience begins with the team.

This doesn’t mean that all should be experts on this area. Everyone still should at least understand that what is your product and who are you customers. What are the actual things that affect to customer experience and what makes your product good or bad.

This goes well with “eat your own dog food” approach, that everyone in the company needs to be user of their products. At least they need to try those out and actually feel the experience your customers are living. This isn’t possible in all companies, but it is possible for much more than those who are actually living it.

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Netflix 5 percent rule

”Simple trumps complete” – a 5% feature (used by less than 5% of all users) is a distraction for all the other users, and is better removed, unless its really critical (a small number of users do need to cancel service, for example).

http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2011/01/23/netflix-design-principle-simple-trumps-complete/

I find it really interesting idea. Don’t focus on anything that only 5% or less of your customers use.

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Interesting Experience Design Framework from Jordan Julien

Interesting framework for experience design in strategy work from Jordan Julien. It gives excellent ideas what could and should be done when creating products.

As my background is in the RnD, I’m bit worried about thinking of creating UX before actual code. Maybe Jordan doesn’t even mean in his presentation that UX should be created first, but that was my first thought on the presentation.

I’ve many times saw it to be troubling when UX is created too much in advance and without true possibilities to iterate it to be better. In my opinion there needs to be good balance between UX done in advance and UX iterated during actual coding phase.

What I love in the presentation is that it really starts with basics. It’s always good to actually define the users (personas) and the problems we are trying to solve for these specific users. After really understanding the basics you could jump to creating first prototypes. Even though this feels obvious, I bet is often jumped over.

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6 laws of customer experience by Bruce Temkin

Great short e-book about customer experience. Full of great thoughts and great insights in compact form. Mandatory to read to everyone working in any role in any company.

6 laws of customer experience by Bruce Temkin

I loved the sentence: Not many people wake up in the morning and say “today, I want to make life miserable for our customers.”

Still that’s what happens millions of times a day. People get disappointed and frustrated on service or to a product. No one really meant it that way, but that’s what just happened. If companies don’t take this stuff seriously, it won’t fix itself automatically. It needs to be one top priorities of each individual working in or with company to happen.

Thanks to Bruce Temkin @experiencematters.wordpress.com

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Blind spots when looking a web page

Good post about findings in usability tests. Specially blind spots where users don’t find something that is related to other content. Here’s 4 tips from CX Partners and the actual post:

4 Tips for positioning filter controls

You won’t go far wrong if you follow these simple principles for positioning filtering controls

1. Place controls in close proximity to the thing they’re controlling
2. Group related elements with a shared visual treatment
3. Use conventions so users don’t have to learn how to use your website
4. Test your designs with real users

Content blind spots – thoughts from a usability test

 


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CX vs UX

I’ve been wondering about the terminology round UX. Here’s nice video to explain what they in Forrester thing about CX and UX. I’m going to start talk more about CX when I refer to more holistic view on user experience now on.

Thank to UX Magazine.

P.s. Thanks to guys in this thread to tell how to post Vimeo videos in WordPress.

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